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    Extraordinary specimen features two earliest versions of the George Halas memorial!

    1983 Walter Payton Game Worn & Signed Chicago Bears Jersey--Photo Matched! When George Halas succumbed to pancreatic cancer at age eighty-eight on the last day of October 1983, he rendered extinct the original band of pioneers that had given life to the National Football League sixty-three years earlier. Though none could argue that Papa Bear had been denied a long, full life, his loss nonetheless sent shockwaves throughout professional football, and the crowd at the subsequent Super Bowl XVIII observed a moment of silence for Halas before former Bears great Bronko Nagurski flipped the coin.

    Certainly it would go without saying that the loss was felt most profoundly within the organization to which Halas had dedicated the bulk of his life, and arrangements were quickly made to honor Halas' memory on the team's uniforms. And so, in the first contest after his passing, November 6, 1983, the Chicago Bears faced the Los Angeles Rams with a large football-shaped rubberized decal heat-pressed to the left shoulder, bearing the monogram that has ridden Bears jerseys ever since.

    This original memorial style is virtually unknown among football historians and collectors, as it was quickly replaced by a smaller and (many would argue) more attractive embroidered patch. You can see that original style in the Resolution Photomatching paperwork and, if you look closely at that area on the subject garment, you'll spot a layer of white mesh sewn over the top--as the heat-pressed decal could not be removed--and the new, permanent embroidered patch applied just below.

    While the experts at Resolution arrested their hunt for photo matches after linking the garment to that defeat at Anaheim Stadium, the massive game wear assures that far more than a single contest appears upon its resume. Intriguingly, the game to which the jersey is matched featured one of three touchdown passes Sweetness would author in 1983, an eighteen-yarder to quarterback Jim McMahon to get the Bears on the board, an early edition of the "Philly Special." The Hall of Fame running back would also carry the ball fourteen times for sixty-two yards, and receive four passes for thirty-two.

    Payton's immortal number "34" is screened in midnight navy on orange to chest, back and shoulders, while his surname is screened to rear nameplate. Lower left front tail holds proper "Wilson [size] 44" label. Team repairs abound, several larger than a silver dollar and concentrated in the shoulders, where Payton would lower the boom. Brown spots at lower front center tail are almost certainly blood. A red marker signature at right shoulder appears vintage to the period. For experienced collectors of gridiron gamers, this is a picture-perfect specimen, ticking every box for elite desirability. LOA from Resolution Photomatching. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    17th-18th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 47
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,546

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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